Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and other advocates of sentencing and prison reform are desperately trying to sway Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to keep the Senate in session longer in December to finish their bill. The Justice Department would like to rewrite some provisions, a move a critic blames on a “rogue” official.
There are more than 5.7 million cases in 27 states with open arrest warrants, enough to lock up every adult in West Virginia and Colorado combined. “Most jurisdictions around the nation are doing nothing with warrants …Nothing,” said criminologist David Kennedy of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The justices hear arguments Wednesday on whether the Constitution’s prohibition of “excessive fines” applies to the states. Conservative and liberal groups both are protesting the trend of more fines and forfeitures.
The Supreme Court is considering whether to allow lawsuits claiming abuse of police power in retaliation for exercising free speech rights. The case argued on Monday concerned a claim for retaliatory arrest at a festival in remote Alaska.
Jail space in Indiana’s rural Clark County is already at a premium, and the region’s opioid crisis is likely to make the situation even worse. County officials have requested approval from the state legislature for two new judges to help courts handle the load, but it may still not be enough.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition will ask its two million members to flood Congress with letters and phone calls backing congressional approval of a version of the First Step Act that includes both prison and sentencing reforms.
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” says Chief Justice John Roberts in an unusual statement. Trump replies that judges chosen by his predecessor “have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.”
After secret proceedings during the ongoing trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, the judge says he will limit the questions defense lawyers can ask a key witness in order to protect “individuals and entities.”
A federal judge in Michigan dismissed female genital mutilation charges against several doctors in the first criminal case of its kind nationwide. A women’s advocate called the ruling “a giant step backward in the protection of women’s and girls’ rights.”